From the Journals

ASCO, CCO issue multiple myeloma treatment guidelines



New clinical practice guidelines, jointly released by two leading cancer organizations, provide nearly 50 specific recommendations for the management of newly diagnosed and relapsed multiple myeloma patients.

The guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) were authored by a panel of 21 experts in medical oncology, surgery, radiation oncology, and advocacy who reviewed 124 relevant studies published between 2005 and 2018.

“The treatment of multiple myeloma has changed significantly in the last 5 years. Since 2015, four new drugs have been approved, thus providing more options and adding to the complexity of treatment options,” the expert panel wrote in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The recommendations are intended to put in context recent randomized trials and drug advances, according to the experts, led by cochairs Joseph Mikhael, MD, of City of Hope Cancer Center, Phoenix, and the International Myeloma Foundation, North Hollywood, Calif., and Tom Martin, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco.

Specifically, the recently approved agents include the proteasome inhibitor ixazomib, the histone deacetylase inhibitor panobinostat, and the monoclonal antibodies daratumumab and elotuzumab, directed at CD38 and SLAMF7, respectively.

There are 20 specific recommendations for newly diagnosed, transplant-eligible patients with multiple myeloma; 10 recommendations for newly diagnosed, transplant-ineligible patients; and 16 recommendations related to relapsed disease in the ASCO/CCO guidelines.

All transplant-eligible patients should be offered up-front autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT), according to the guidelines. By contrast, allogeneic transplant is not routinely recommended but “may be considered” in select high-risk patients, and tandem transplant “should not be routinely recommended,” the expert panelists said in their report.

Lenalidomide maintenance therapy should be routinely offered to standard-risk, transplant-eligible patients, according to the panel, whereas bortezomib maintenance could be considered in those who are intolerant of lenalidomide or can’t receive that immunomodulatory drug.

“Evidence is emerging for the use of ixazomib as maintenance therapy and may also be considered,” the panel members said, citing the TOURMALINE-MM3 study results presented at the 2018 annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology and recently published in the Lancet.

Although minimal residual disease (MRD)–negative status is linked to improved outcomes, there is insufficient evidence that MRD can be used today to modify maintenance therapy based on depth of response in transplant-eligible patients, according to the guidelines. Likewise, in transplant-ineligible patients, MRD shouldn’t be used to guide treatment goals in clinical practice, the authors said.

Triplet therapies such as bortezomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (VRd) can be considered for transplant ineligible patients, as can the combination of daratumumab and bortezomib plus melphalan and prednisone that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in May 2018.

For patients with biochemically relapsed myeloma and high-risk disease – defined as early relapse and presence of high-risk cytogenetics – treatment should begin immediately, whereas close observation may be appropriate for patients with asymptomatic, slowly progressive relapse.

Triplets containing two novel therapies should be administered on first relapse, and should continue until disease progression, the expert panel advised.

If it was not already done after primary induction, ASCT should be offered to relapsed, transplant-eligible myeloma patients.

The expert panel reported numerous financial relationships with industry, including Celgene, Sanofi, AbbVie, TeneoBio, Roche, June Therapeutics, and others.

SOURCE: Mikhael J et al. J Clin Oncol. 2019 Apr 1. doi: 10.1200/JCO.18.02096.

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